Hardie to take on tough role at ITV

John Hardie, the marketing chief drafted in to ITV this week by its new chief executive, Richard Eyre, will have a brief to overhaul ITV’s marketing and advertising strategy, senior industry figures advised this week.

John Hardie, the marketing chief drafted in to ITV this week by its

new chief executive, Richard Eyre, will have a brief to overhaul ITV’s

marketing and advertising strategy, senior industry figures advised this

week.



Hardie, the managing director of cosmetics and toiletries, Europe, at

Procter & Gamble, joins ITV on 3 November as its marketing and

commercial director.



He will have to develop a more consistent branding for the ITV network

to reinforce its position with viewers.



Hardie will join the new ITV task force headed by Eyre and the programme

director, David Liddiment, and will be a key figure at the new, more

centralised ITV.



Eyre said Hardie would have a dual role: to monitor the changing demands

of the viewer and reflect them in the development of ITV’s product; and

to represent ITV’s advertising customers at the highest level.



Mick Desmond, the chief executive of the ITV sales house, Laser, said

Hardie must develop a consistent positioning of the ITV brand

nationally. Paul Taylor, the managing director of BMP Optimum, said:

’ITV needs to start acting like a brand leader.



Now it can start feeling good about itself again.’



ITV’s decision to hire from within the ranks of P&G, one of its most

vociferous critics, has been seen as a signal of its determination to

gain a closer understanding of, and relationship with, advertisers.



P&G has been a keen supporter of advertisers’ calls for an increase in

advertising minutage on ITV - a move that has been firmly resisted by

ITV itself - and has added its voice to criticism of ITV’s audience

levels.



Eyre said Hardie’s background at P&G was a significant asset for him in

his new role. ’P&G is a very marketing driven company and is one of the

single most important customers of ITV. That gives John a head start,’

he added.



Hardie, who declined to speak to the press this week, takes on a

marketing budget that is likely to be expanded beyond this year’s pounds

5 million for off-air promotions. He also inherits existing

relationships with the creative agency M&C Saatchi, the media agency,

Motive, and the poster specialist, Concord.



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